Turning 40, reflections and beginnings

Last Friday I turned the big 4 0. In all honesty i wasn’t sure how I would handle the day. There are so many things I thought I would have in my life by that age that i don’t – the two biggest being a husband/ partner and children, Whilst the first is definitely attainable after 40, children are most likely not. So I thought there was a good chance of a breakdown come dawn on Friday when i suddenly realised I was a barren old spinster. I’d been on a high in the days leading up to it but thought that might have been the “manic” before the depression.

Funny thing though, I woke up on the anniversary of my birth in a great mood… I stayed in a great mood all day and well into the weekend. I credit that in a big way to this journey I am on. I feel so much better about myself now. It’s not just the weight either. I mean I have weighed this weight before and I didn’t like who I was and I hated how I looked… and I got bigger… and bigger… and BIGGER. Now, whilst I still don’t love the way I look naked  (saggy bits are sooo unattractive), I’m actually starting to think I look pretty good – especially in a nice frock 🙂 As for how I feel about myself… well dare I say it? I am starting to love who I am. I’m proud of what I have achieved. I’m not perfect by any stretch but I believe I am a good person, and by the wonderful people I seem to be attracting into my life at the moment I have to believe that other people think I’m pretty good too. Actually that deserves a bit of a re write…. I may not do everything perfectly but I AM PERFECT! There is nothing “wrong” with me that needs to be “fixed”. I am perfect the way I am and the way I am is constantly improving if that makes any sense. (admittedly I may be blocking any thoughts about what is not in my life and just focussing on the great things I do have to keep my mood elevated)

So I jumped out of bed on my birthday morning and weighed in :- 75kgs. on the dot. I was thrilled 🙂 23kgs down since I started. Still another 15 to go but I’d reached the goal I set for round 2 and I was happy 🙂 I had also decided that I was not going to count calories on my birthday weekend and was just going to enjoy myself. That started with a delicious Vietnamese feast with the family on Friday night, (not horrendous calorie wise until my sweetheart brother surprised me with a chocolate mudcake topped with profiteroles and chocolate shavings for dessert!), continued through an amazing Middle Eastern feast with 22 friends on Saturday (complete with several glasses of wine, baklava and a birthday bombe alaska) and was supposed to end with a lovely baked dinner with my brother’s family (where we finished off the rest of that mudcake). Note I said “supposed” to finish there. I was full of good intentions that come Monday morning I would be straight back into eating clean and training hard. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. I knew I was going to Canberra for a work trip on Wednesday but I had 2 days i could have controlled my food and didn’t. Part of it was being unorganised (hugely busy weekend meant no shopping had been done), part of it was a previously promised trip to Zumbos (OMG orange and apricot Zonut – pure heaven (and heart attack) on a plate!), but part of it was those old excuses rearing their ugly heads again: “Everyone is saying how good I look, surely I can stop now”, and “the round doesn’t start until next Monday, I ‘deserve’ a break”. So nothing achieved Monday and Tuesday other than one run. Then i hit Canberra with the work crew and whilst I organised myself enough to take breakfast (although only for 2 days instead of the 3 i was down there) I didn’t make the healthiest choices at lunch and dinner. Yesterday was just ridiculous – McDonalds for breakfast (just a bacon and egg muffin – within calorie allowance and not too bad) but then Oportos for lunch WITH chips! and then for dinner instead of pulling on the reins, I decided to bake myself 2 drumsticks and a too large potato. I thought I had drawn the line in the sand then, but after doing my fitness test this morning and deciding to do the shopping before coming home for breakfast I ended up eating a Kit Kat for breakfast. It seems I still have a LOT to learn.

I guess the reason that I’m posting all of that is for accountability. I have well and truly dropped the ball this week – and as a result I have gained 1.1kgs as of this morning. That is not good. It is not however the end of the world. I have done my shopping so I am now prepared for the week ahead. I do have my brother’s birthday dinner tonight (Thai feast) and whilst I will no doubt still go over my calories at least i won’t be drinking so that will save some. I wont beat myself up though. I know that is the last big social function for a while. I’m going to take this round 1 week at a time (perhaps even one day at a time). I’ve been doing my preseason tasks today to get my head ready.  I am going to give it my all. I’m reposting my commitment here to keep me accountable to you the lovely people who take the time to read my ramblings: My commitment is to give this round my all. No slacking off and allowing bad habits (and chocolate binges) to creep back in. I’m committed to keeping up with my running and to running 10km regularly by the end of the round. Whilst doing that I will lose 8-10kgs

I’ve redone my goals too:

During the next month I will:

Lose 2.6kg
Complete the Sydney Glow Run
Run 8km non stop

and over the course of the next 12 weeks I will:

run 10km without stopping and compete in Melbourne Marathon Festival in 10km event
Lose 8kg
Compete in RAW Challenge

It all begins again now and again every morning I am blessed enough to open my eyes.

I want to earn the faith my friends and family have shown in me. For my birthday my beautiful friends got me a session with a stylist, (including 2 hours of shopping and some vouchers to pay for my new wardrobe!) and a bottle of Moet to toast the occasion – an absolutely perfect gift. My wonderful family got my some http://www.redballoon.com.au vouchers so I can do something really memorable, and a fabulous “Love Life” photo collage frame so I can celebrate my achievements and the events I am entering. I am truly grateful to have these amazing people in my life. Without them I would be nowhere.

I absolutely adore this Leona Edmiston dress. I felt a million dollars!

I absolutely adore this Leona Edmiston dress. I felt a million dollars!

Kazbah bombe


Ups and downs and catching up

Sorry it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Things have been pretty busy around here! Last week’s weigh in saw me drop 1.1kg. I was thrilled! This week the drop was 400g. That may not sound like much but when you consider I had 5 days worth of food/ alcohol events during the last week it’s a Christmas in July Miracle! What’s even better is that the 400g brings me to over 10kg lost this round which was my goal 🙂 No red flags planned this week so hoping for an even better result (as soon as I kick this pesky virus and can train properly again!)

One of my red flag events last week was a singles cocktail function. I signed up to attend whilst on a runners high after a Bay Run PB, and then promptly regretted it as soon as my endorphin levels dropped again. Being a “big girl” I’ve always felt like the ugly duckling at these things. I’m not one of those women who carries extra weight with style and class. I look like a big fat blob. Correction, a short fat blob. Needless to say my blobbishness, lack of any clothing style and complete absence of confidence doesn’t exactly have the guys lining up to ask me out. So with the singles function looming the stress of what to wear was in full force. “Cocktail” seems to mean short and sleeveless and skin-tight to the fashion world. As gorgeous as those dresses look on the size 8 models, I didn’t think them appropriate for me, especially in the middle of winter. (side note WOW do I feel the cold without my 20kgs of insulation!). Thank goodness for online shopping and fabulous friends who are happy enough to have you send them tons of links to possibilities. I eventually found something suitable and the tailor quickly altered it to make it more suitable for the vertically challenged.  My lovely hairdresser was able to squeeze me in for a wash and blow dry (I can never get my hair looking as good as she can), and because she could only do it late, I walked in dressed for the event. She hasn’t seen me for a few months and was gobsmacked at the change 🙂 Definitely gave me a boost before the event. The result was I attended the event feeling more confident than I have in years.

Dressed up for singles cocktail event

I didn’t have any luck with meeting a guy that night, but as it was the first time I’ve put myself out there in over 3 years I’m feeling good about it. Some of the girls I train with had asked me to show photos of me dressed for the event (they’ve only ever seen me in workout gear sweaty and red-faced) so I posted this pic in the Facebook group. Great ego boost. Some of the newer members wanted to know how far I’d come so I hunted around for a “before” shot. (Note to those starting out on your journey – do before shots in clothes as well as underwear 😉 ) I found this photo from New Years Eve 2012:

NYE 2012. Looking horrendous

NYE 2012. Looking horrendous

Looking at that I’m really able to see how far I’ve come. I’ve still got a long way to go, but some days when I look at myself and can only see the fat it helps to look back at how far I’ve come. Never again will I look like the sad woman in this photo.

Whilst shopping for a dress for the cocktail party a friend convinced me to try on some dresses from Leona Edmiston. I thought she was crazy. I’m too big for designer clothes! Apparently not though. HELLO LEONA SIZE 4!!!! I ended up buying a dress I absolutely LOVE to wear for my 40th birthday. Not posting pics until the big day but all I will say is that dress makes me feel FANTASTIC!

To go with the dress I wanted knee-high boots. A couple of years ago I had some custom-made (standard boots going nowhere near fitting my little feet and humongous calves. I pulled those boots out to try on with the dress and this is the result:

yep thats my arm in the boot with my leg

yep that’s my arm in the boot with my leg

So the hunt for new boots began. Unfortunately even though I’ve lost 7cm off my calves, I’m still too big for most knee-high boots. 😦 being the wrong end of the season doesn’t help either. Today though I got a fabulous tip from a friend: compression. She suggested wrapping my legs in glad wrap to get the boots zipped up. I didn’t go that far, but after trying on a pair I’d bought online and being unable to zip them up, I threw on a pair of pantyhose and voila, with a bit of pulling and huffing and puffing I got them on! YIPPEE!! I wish I had known that earlier as I’m sure a few of the (cheaper and nicer) pairs I had tried on in store would have fit. Anyway I now have boots to wear with my gorgeous dress so am looking forward to turning 40 and showing off to my family and friends. Yep that’s right looking forward to turning 40! I had actually expected a possible nervous breakdown at reaching this “milestone” but I’m feeling so good about where my life is at that I am looking forward to it.

Being sick has interfered with my training a bit, but prior to that my running has been going from strength to strength. My PB for the Bay is now down to 50:14! I think I’ll be able to get that under 50 minutes soon 🙂 On the down side though, I’m learning something about myself. When I am sick I want to eat crap. I am craving carbs and salt and chocolate. Maybe it’s because I’m home all day and bored. Too sick to do much not sick enough to sleep all the time. Maybe it’s because I can’t taste much other than sugar and salt. I don’t know but it’s not good. The ultra busy weekend meant I hadn’t had time to do the shopping let alone a cook up before the virus hit so there was nothing in easy reach in the freezer either. One of the 12WBT risottos would have been perfect but instead I had to settle for Lean Cuisine and let me tell you that is no comparison :(. Today I’m feeling a bit better so my mission is to get some good food organised and kick these crap cravings to the curb!

I want to make the most of the last week of the round!

Positive vibes and the things they inspire you to

Sorry for missing Wednesday’s post – I’ve been without internet at home for the last week grrr. It has been a very interesting week though. Weigh in Wednesday saw me gain for the first time since starting this journey (not counting the holiday weight gain). I was up 200g. Now the old PJ would have been devastated by that, maybe thrown a bit of a tanty and stuffed my face with comfort food. Good thing I’ve changed! I was able to rationalise it in my head, realising that the previous two weeks were abnormally high losses and my body just needed to balance out. I know my nutrition and exercise were good (not perfect by any means but not bad enough to result in a gain) so I just accepted the number for what it was – a number and moved on. 

This week I trialled a new gym. I got a free 3 day pass off their website and used it to full advantage – attending classes on all 3 days. Most important for me was a Kimax class. The Inner Westies (aka the pink ladies) have been raving about these classes and i really wanted to try it out. For those that have never heard of it, it’s basically where you have a free standing large padded cylinder and you punch, elbow, knee and kick it in time to music. It is a GREAT workout and FANTASTIC for stress relief! I was hooked straight up. Forgot to wear my HRM so not sure how many calories I burned but I worked out almost to the point of vomiting so I know I worked hard! What made the class even better for me was the unexpected surprise of having 5 other Inner Westies in the class! We made up over half the room! That sealed my decision that this was the gym for me. The classes suit what I want to do for 12WBT and I can fit them around my shifts (when I’m not running nanna around and on those days I can do the super early classes). For the rest of my trial period I did  a pump and a yoga class. I wanted to see if I would enjoy classes when I didn’t know anyone, and whilst they werent quite as fab as the Kimax class I still enjoyed them. So on Friday I joined the gym. I am a gym member and will be a regular gym attendee. 🙂

Friday was also my second session with the inner westies who are doing couch to 10km. The session was full on, very short rest breaks (20 – 40sec) but I managed to do all the runs without stopping! I was really impressed with myself as the circuits ranged from 400m to 1km in length. I’m not 100% sure but I think in the hour session there was less than 5 min rest. Sure I’m not as fast as the other girls, but I am SO much better than I was when i started this journey (and couldn’t run 50m!). I seem to be getting some of my strength back too. At bootcamp on Saturday I felt strong doing my pushups on my toes and taking the harder options when offered. It was interesting for me as we had a few newbies attend and I could see where I’d come from watching them.

To top off an awesome week I caught up with a few friends last night and was bowled over by all the compliments I received! Everyone was saying how good I’m looking and how the weight loss is really noticeable. I was even told I’m “glowing” from the inside! I felt fantastic. A little self conscious still (I didn’t like being the central topic of conversation for at least half an hour after each new person arrived!) but its nice to have my hard work noticed. We also got to talking about my 40th birthday which is coming up. I’ve been avoiding organising anything as previously when I’ve done so, noone has turned up, or people cancel at the last minute and it turns out really stressful for me. High on the compliments last night (and possibly with a bit of a vodka buzz – calories counted) I decided to put some feelers out and set up an event for my birthday. I was thinking I could get maybe half a dozen people together for a dinner and dancing. Well so far 20 people are attending!! None are family either as I will do them on a separate night. May have to rethink the venue at this rate! I’m completely floored that this many people like me enough to want to attend and celebrate with me.

I’ve also just committed to do the Raw Challenge in September. 6km and 30 obstacles. I’m excited, nervous, scared, thrilled, motivated and inspired all rolled into one. Definitely gives me something to train for! Who’d have thought I would ever even consider something like that! Bring on Sept 28! http://www.rawchallenge.com.au/